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IRS stimulus checks helped catapult Walmart to monster second-quarter profit

As lawmakers on Capitol Hill continue to squabble about a future coronavirus stimulus package that would put more money into people’s pockets, today brings fresh evidence that the first round of direct payments did, in fact, stimulate the economy.

Walmart cited the payments as one of several galvanizing factors that boosted its sales and profit in the second quarter of 2020, during which America’s largest retailer reported earnings per share of $1.56 on revenue of $137.74 billion. Analysts had expected EPS of $1.25 on revenue of $1.35.48 billion, according to a consensus estimate cited by CNBC. The retailer’s same-store sales in the United States rose 9.3%, better than the 5.4% expected by analysts.

With Americans sheltering in place and avoiding public spaces, Walmart said its U.S. online sales for the three-month period ended July 31 grew a staggering 97%, with “strong results across all channels.”

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